I had been using a rather nice Acos (Pioneer PL-71) 9" arm.\r\nWhen I bought the deck I tested a SME V12 - that was a tad expensive as nearly new and I though it sounded a bit to laid back and was probably not quite right for the Ortofon SPU Royal N I use.\r\nHaving looked at the Schick 12" I thought, could I build something like that to better what I have?\r\n\r\n1st stop bearings - did some research, thanks to posters on bearing thread and I got me some Abec9 3,5 6mm spindle dia bearings to play with.\r\n\r\nLet the project commence.\r\n\r\npics of the 3mm Abec9 bearings running in.\r\nBodged together rig to spin them and first suitable motor I could find...\r\n\r\n[URL=http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2577414270071997495OYwoXQ][IMG]http://inlinethumb01.webshots.com/44864/2577414270071997495S600x600Q85.jpg[/IMG][/URL]\r\n\r\n[URL=http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2677710540071997495JIfNsW][IMG]http://inlinethumb18.webshots.com/45585/2677710540071997495S600x600Q85.jpg[/IMG][/URL]\r\n\r\nNot bad photo's from a Nokia N97mini!\r\n\r\nA quick test before running in (as they will work in the pivot) showed no discernible play - good start. Lets see if still ok after 50hrs+ of spinning.\r\n\r\nThe wand cut, bent supplied by [url=http://myworld.ebay.co.uk/redbeardanalogue/]redbeardanalogue[/url] - really nice guy - he included some silver arm wire too:^\r\n\r\nI got a proper SME replacement arm / headshell socket / collar to fit the tube.\r\n\r\nTo get something 'long' up and running I intend to use a SME3009 armbase I have and mod the pivot to take my 3mm vertical bearings.\r\n\r\nThen my own design on a brass base and pivot assembly could start. True to his word the wand has arrived from Jeremy and looks very good.\r\n\r\nHere's some pics of the parts I assembled for the project.\r\n\r\n[URL=http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2236270560071997495KkRQip][IMG]http://inlinethumb30.webshots.com/44509/2236270560071997495S600x600Q85.jpg[/IMG][/URL]\r\n\r\nidea of how it will sit.\r\n[URL=http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2026591360071997495sunDMc][IMG]http://inlinethumb56.webshots.com/26487/2026591360071997495S600x600Q85.jpg[/IMG][/URL]\r\n\r\nSort of insitu - Camera to hold up headshell end for photo \r\n[URL=http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2621927370071997495AaKKAL][IMG]http://inlinethumb54.webshots.com/44405/2621927370071997495S600x600Q85.jpg[/IMG][/URL]\r\n\r\n[URL=http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2149832820071997495QcNsJe][IMG]http://inlinethumb64.webshots.com/25727/2149832820071997495S600x600Q85.jpg[/IMG][/URL]\r\n\r\n[URL=http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2471576260071997495bBftRe][IMG]http://inlinethumb64.webshots.com/46015/2471576260071997495S600x600Q85.jpg[/IMG][/URL]\r\nSME socket is nice fit.\r\n[URL=http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2944109330071997495RlvyRq][IMG]http://inlinethumb04.webshots.com/6083/2944109330071997495S600x600Q85.jpg[/IMG][/URL]\r\n\r\nOne idea Jeremy had was to use heatshrink as damping for the arm - easy to take off again. I don't think I need to hide the SS arm as it looks pretty enough.\r\nIf it makes a difference then I might think about foam filling but let's see.\r\n\r\nOff to the lathe.\r\n\r\n"If anyone needs me I will be in my workshop - I am not be disturbed"\r\n\r\nSpinning the nuts that clamp the centres of the bearings.\r\n[URL=http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2121521000071997495DxjIPc][IMG]http://inlinethumb16.webshots.com/27087/2121521000071997495S600x600Q85.jpg[/IMG][/URL]\r\n\r\nTwisted signal and earth - easy to push through. The twisting was Jeremy's recommendation.\r\n\r\nDidn't have a grommet small enough so some duct tape in small strips is used to cushion the hole edge.\r\nColoured felt pen for red/green, white(no colour)/blue.\r\n[URL=http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2821831480071997495tGgDYF][IMG]http://inlinethumb20.webshots.com/44563/2821831480071997495S600x600Q85.jpg[/IMG][/URL]\r\n\r\nImportant to heat shield the tags or you melt the plastic inside and the spring contact effect is gone! - Pal of mine has done that on his arm...\r\n[URL=http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2971106930071997495tGNgcF][IMG]http://inlinethumb06.webshots.com/261/2971106930071997495S600x600Q85.jpg[/IMG][/URL]\r\n\r\nTested and ready to go in\r\n[URL=http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2592496780071997495EHeMUY][IMG]http://inlinethumb62.webshots.com/2173/2592496780071997495S600x600Q85.jpg[/IMG][/URL]\r\n\r\nSocket in - nice tight fit and true\r\n[URL=http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2462389740071997495ndAlRD][IMG]http://inlinethumb61.webshots.com/45436/2462389740071997495S600x600Q85.jpg[/IMG][/URL]\r\n\r\nAction shots of hole cutting the base - 20mm\r\n[URL=http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2708886490071997495buczBw][IMG]http://inlinethumb46.webshots.com/6317/2708886490071997495S600x600Q85.jpg[/IMG][/URL]\r\n\r\nBased turned up\r\n[URL=http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2967805410071997495lLZYMP][IMG]http://inlinethumb21.webshots.com/44372/2967805410071997495S600x600Q85.jpg[/IMG][/URL]\r\n\r\nThen tapped the base for grub screw to lock the SME arm pivot tube and two holes in the base for screwing down.\r\nPlus turned up a suitable (230gram) counterweight and tapped it for grubscrew to secure it to arm tube.\r\nThe weight was based on two ordinary weights hung on the back with the SPU / Sumiko on.\r\n\r\nPlaced on deck to see how it looks / check alignment\r\n[URL=http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2015793300071997495TOvbzU][IMG]http://inlinethumb57.webshots.com/46328/2015793300071997495S600x600Q85.jpg[/IMG][/URL]\r\n\r\nClose up of pivot - bearings epoxied on to SME pivot - incredibly strong - perhaps epoxy is not for the purist though!\r\nBit dusty too.\r\n[URL=http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2861446210071997495aIzsHN][IMG]http://inlinethumb11.webshots.com/45194/2861446210071997495S600x600Q85.jpg[/IMG][/URL]\r\n\r\nThe business end\r\n[URL=http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2861446210071997495aIzsHN][IMG]http://inlinethumb11.webshots.com/45194/2861446210071997495S600x600Q85.jpg[/IMG][/URL]\r\n\r\nCan re-use the previous arm rest lash up for Acos arm, but in other armboard hole.\r\n\r\nStill had the arm lift to sort out.\r\n[URL=http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2839901190071997495dMrtjC][IMG]http://inlinethumb17.webshots.com/44880/2839901190071997495S600x600Q85.jpg[/IMG][/URL]\r\n\r\nSo at this point left to do: \r\n-Remove armboard and drill mounting holes / thread & mount armbase.\r\n-Solder up wires to phone sockets.\r\n-Sort out a lift holder - preferably off top of SME arm pivot ala SME so that it moves up and down with VTA adjustment.\r\n\r\nI did a quick check of VTA and it will be fine.\r\nAlso checked headshell level (azimuth) and that's ok.\r\nTried a common protractor I use and that aligned nicely. Of course it ran out way past the 240mm marks on pulling back towards rest;-) Well it would as the length pivot to base is 296.5m.\r\n\r\nFigured out a cueing device from a Rega one I had 'in stock' so to speak. Bit of a lash up but it works and looks ok'ish.\r\nMore of a faff than building the arm tbh! These things always are.\r\n\r\nAnyway. Mounted the arm did the last soldering - arm leads straight to phono sockets and then checked all measurements and alignments. All good.\r\nBalanced her up at my SPU usual of 3g.\r\n\r\nOn with the amp - and cue up a record. Ah, no left channel.\r\nTurned out it was the phono plug not quite home - bit fiddly with the plus under the deck you see.\r\nThat sorted - proper music.\r\n\r\nInteresting - similar result to Pete's SME V12 I tried, which is saying something. Calmer, less what I can only describe on the 9" arm as colouration / distortion.\r\n\r\nQuite a lot of bass and lovely cymbal character and shimmer I've not appreciated as much before. That was on \r\nthe ol' favourite - Armstrong and Ellington - Together album.\r\nOk on to some testing stuff - Tori Amos.\r\nLovely and expressive and again calmer - can listen at a volume that would have had a hint of setting my teeth on edge before I think. It's not quite as visceral as the 9" though.\r\n\r\nListening to other stuff I think the Sumiko heavyweight headshell is probable overkill or I could loose some mass off the back and slide the weight further out - decided to try that first... \r\nWill also canvass for 'what headshell for my 12" arm' I think.\r\nWish I had the Techi one still to try as that was a bit lighter. I have the Pioneer PL-71 one but don't think the SPU will fit under it quite...\r\n\r\nAnyway fun and games.\r\n\r\nIt definitely works well enough to be a keeper and refine.\r\nExpect the Acos PL-71 arm to be back on the Pioneer PL-71 and on Ebay soon! \r\n \r\n[URL=http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2412385520071997495yXAlwn][IMG]http://inlinethumb60.webshots.com/46011/2412385520071997495S600x600Q85.jpg[/IMG][/URL]\r\n\r\nI then shaved about 1/6 off the counterweight depth and boy has it come alive!\r\nWhen to stop shaving hehe?! Amazing what over massing the cart does!\r\n\r\nThis is really singing now! The bass is awesome - not just weight but detail and texture not heard before (and I rarely use that word awesome for risk of sounding like an amaricun - but where appropriate it is fine to use).\r\n\r\nNow to get those big abec 9's bearings for the horizontal SME pivot, run them in and try them.\r\n\r\nThis has been a great project. Every bit as enjoyable as the Tannoy 15" Rect birch plywood cabs project and nice to do some metalwork after all the woodwork I've been doing.